Blood Sugar Balance
Problems of blood sugar imbalance are increasingly common, and are often related to an unhealthy lifestyle. Along with genetic factors and other issues, poor dietary and exercise habits may compromise the body's ability to produce insulin or utilise it effectively.
- Symptoms that appear a few hours after eating and are alleviated by the consumption of food are suggestive of blood sugar imbalance. These may include:
- Cravings for sweet foods (e.g. sugar, chocolate) or carbohydrates (e.g. bread, pasta, potatoes)
- Inability to concentrate ('fuzzy headedness')
- Mood swings, irritability, low moods
- Risk factors for blood sugar imbalances include weight problems (especially abdominal obesity), having high blood pressure, or polycystic ovarian syndrome, and getting older
- People of certain nationalities are also at increased risk, including those from Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Pacific Islander, Indian sub-continent, or Asian backgrounds
- Ongoing consumption of large quantities of foods with a high glycaemic index (GI) can also lead to blood sugar imbalances. These include sugary foods, alcohol, and starchy carbohydrates (e.g. bread, cakes, potatoes)
- Skipping meals and eating irregularly may lead to unstable blood sugar levels and slumps in energy levels
- Deficiencies of nutrients involved in the breakdown and utilisation of glucose, and the production and utilisation of insulin may also contribute to the problem. These include the minerals chromium, zinc, magnesium and manganese, and several of the B-complex group of vitamins
Nutritional & Herbal Support
- Taking a broad-spectrum digestive enzyme supplement that contains Amylase, can work with your body's own gastric secretions to enhance your digestion carbohydrates and cellulose
Diet & Lifestyle advice
- Symptoms of blood sugar imbalance may be indicative of underlying disease, and require medical investigation.
- Talk to your healthcare professional about an appropriate dietary regime for your personal circumstances. In many cases they will recommend you follow a low glycaemic index (GI) diet that includes slow-burning carbohydrates (such as oats and legumes) to help you maintain better blood glucose control. At the same time, you will be advised to avoid high GI carbohydrates such as sugars, wheat products (e.g. bread), and potatoes, which are metabolised quickly, leading to blood sugar fluctuations
- Eating several small meals throughout the day may also help stabilise blood sugar levels. Include a small serve of protein at each meal
- Decrease your consumption of saturated fats (from animal products) and increase your consumption of omega-3 fats (from fish, nuts and seeds)
- Drink two litres of water every day, and avoid soft drinks, cordial, alcohol and caffeine, all of which can interfere with your blood sugar levels
- Regular exercise is important for maintaining blood sugar balance and managing weight problems. Consult your healthcare professional before starting or changing your exercise regime
- Don't smoke - it significantly increases the likelihood that you'll experience Circulatory Problems, poor Heart Health and other complications
If symptoms persist consult your healthcare professional. Information provided is of a general nature and should not replace that of your healthcare professional.